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Haudenschild Nips Larson in Bridgeport

Sheldon Haudenschild (17) inches away from Kyle Larson at Bridgeport Motorsports Park. (Trent Gower photo)

BRIDGEPORT, NJ — Tuesday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series trip to Bridgeport Motorsports Park did not disappoint.

Two of the fiercest pilots in the business lined up wheel to wheel and put on a top notch show around the four tenths of a mile oval.

Officially it appears that Sheldon Haudenschild controlled much of the race, 21 laps leading to Kyle Larson’s four. However, the intensity goes so much further than what a brief analysis of the box score reveals. The duo changed command almost 20 times over the final 15 laps, with the winning move coming amid a dramatic final restart.

Ultimately, it was Haudenschild who weathered a 15-race dry spell and put the NOS energy drink, Stenhouse Jr./Marshall Racing No. 17, on the winning track for the first time since Cotton Bowl Speedway on March 4. His third win of the season now ranks second (Macedo, 4 wins) and gives him 25 career wins in World of Outlaws at 28 years old.

“It feels like we haven’t won in forever, man,” Haudenschild said. “This is where this team belongs, up here on the road to victory. [Kyle] Reisser, Stefan [Hamm-Reilly]and Jacob [Weaver] we’ve worked our tails off, we’ve been close for the last few months. This one feels good.

“Kyle [Larson] and I’ve had some pretty great races over the years. You know, he comes in here and sometimes gives us a whooping cough, so it always feels good to hit him. But really, all of our full-time guys out here on the Outlaw tour are having it just as hard. Every single World of Outlaws win you can earn is special.”

Larson was not lacking in fanfare after his second consecutive second place finish with the series, finishing 1.073s behind Haudenschild.

“I definitely had a winning car, but I didn’t do a good job letting Sheldon come by on the last restart,” admitted Larson. “Paul [Silva] This thing got better every time we got out on the track, I just had to make better decisions. I had to move up after the warning but was too focused on protecting myself. I probably should have let him slide and just started running.”

Finishing the podium on Tuesday was ten-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz, who started from pole but lost the lead to Haudenschild at the start.

“I say it all the time, but you have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run,” Schatz said after consecutive top-five finishes. “We went off towards the end and found something deep and I think we could have gotten to number 57 with a few more laps. The guys have done a great job and we’re building some momentum with this thing.”

The end:

Feature (25 turns): – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [2][$10,000]; 2. 57-Kyle Larson [3][$6,000]; 3. 15-Donny darling [1][$3,500]; 4. 1S-Logan shoe style [6][$2,800]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri [14][$2,500]; 6. 83-James McFadden [4][$2,300]; 7. 24-Rico Abreu [5][$2,200]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [9][$2,100]; 9. 5-Spencer Bayston [12][$2,050]; 10. 2-David Kies [7][$2,000]; 11. 91-Kyle Reinhardt [15][$1,600]; 12. 49 – Brad Sweet [10][$1,400]; 13. 41-Carson Macedo [18][$1,200]; 14. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [23][$1,100]; 15. 18-Giovanni Scelzi [17][$1,050]; 16. 5G Briggs Danner [20][$1,000]; 17. 51-Freddie Rahmer [16][$1,000]; 18. 19 Brent brands [21][$1,000]; 19. 67-Justin Whittall [8][$1,000]; 20. 6-Bill Rose [19][$1,000]; 21. 39-Christopher Bell [13][$1,000]; 22. 9-Kasey Kahne [11][$1,000]; 23. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [22][$1,000]; 24. 5R-Tyler Ross [24][$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Sheldon Haudenschild 1-15, 17-19, 23-25; Kyle Larson 16, 20-22. KSE Hard Charger Award: 39M-Anthony Macri[+9]

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